‘Hoyt’s writing is almost too good to be true’ Lisa Kleypas
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt brings us the first book in her sexy and sensual Greycourt Series!
Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe – the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family – appears at the country house party she’s attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.
Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognises Freya, masquerading amongst the party revellers, and realises his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins. Sins he’d much rather forget. But she’s also fiery, bold, and sensuous – a temptation he can’t resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he’ll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya’s trust – by whatever means necessary.
I am a huge Elizabeth Hoyt fan and have been for years, I am always so excited whenever there is a new book of hers out. We all know that whenever a favourite author releases a completely new series you do wonder if it will be as good as the previous, whether it will enthral you as much as your favourite book did, unfortunately at times that doesn’t always happen. Even though this doesn’t have the same oomph and that much loved Hoyt magical touch that we have all come to know does seems to be a bit off, but I can happily say it does pack a punch and it is still a hugely enjoyable read, I was particularly fascinated by the ‘Wise Women’ part of the plot and I would love to see more of them in following books.
Freya de Moray; daughter and sister of a Duke she is now living her life under cover as a companion – for reasons that you will have to read the book to find out why. She is also apart of the very secret all woman group called the Wise Women, who are in all essence classed as witches (but not in the evil hags of Macbeth, these women are good) I love this part of the plot, the whole story surrounded them and the witch hunters is fascinating and a great addition to the story. Freya has a task that she can only achieve if she attends a house party, unfortunately at the same party the man she sees as the one who ruined her family’s life is also in attendance. And unfortunately for the devilishly handsome Duke of Harlowe, Freya holds a grudge. She’s reminds me of a raven in that respect!
Christopher Renshaw; Duke of Harlowe, after recently gaining the title and retuning from his mysterious jaunt in India is back, all he wants is to retreat to the safety of his home and never face society again, unfortunately there are some who have other idea’s. He soon finds himself blackmailed, his late wife’s memory and honour are on the line, but more than that secrets he has long held close to his heart could be revealed. Christopher is a proud, secretive man who will do anything in his power to protect all his loves. He has no choice but to attend a house party where he plans to finally put an end to those that are plotting against him. Which is where he finds himself entangled with the acid tongued, fiery and mysterious Freya Stewart, who he goes to head to head with on far more occasions then he would have liked and yet he can’t seem to keep away from her.
Christopher is supremely handsome – really he is an amazing man; he has been through his fair share of scandal and loss which has made him darker but I love that, he is protective, gentle, brooding, gruff, always respectful even when he being threatening, plus the love his shows his constant companion; Tess is beautiful. I fell completely in love with him, but he is also damaged, after his experiences in India – which are as mysterious as the man himself – he is now suffering with what we would now call PTSD. He is fragile and scared, Ms Hoyt has handled Christopher’s illness with the up-most care and sensitivity, it’s not pushed into the readers face at every turn, from the moment we meet Christopher there is a subtle undercurrent that makes you think; there is something about this man that makes my heart hurt and I want to give him a huge hug.
As I said at the start of the review, it is indeed missing a certain something, I can’t quite put my finger on what, but it doesn’t quite have that same magic what the likes of ‘Maiden Lane’ did. But it’s still a brilliant book and I can see it getting better and stronger as the series progresses, and I am looking forward to seeing where this series goes and getting to know more of the character’s that pop up in this one.
The characters are wonderfully drawn up, the chemistry between Christopher and Freya is fun and sexy they both have the best fiery and temperamental personalities that do clash in the best way, the bickering and bantering between them is high voltage, fun, snarky, tense, sexy as well as tender and gentle. They are both flawed creatures, but seeing them finally be able to open up and be themselves with another person who understands them. The plot is edge of your seat there is so much going on from blackmail, murder, witch hunts and family trauma. It’s witty, dark, fun and emotional, It will keep you glued from the moment Freya unceremoniously jumps into Christopher’s moving carriage right up to the very last satisfying page.
Very recommended for those who love a historical romance with a touch of suspense.
This was a ARC copy via the authors PA, thank you Elizabeth and Mel.
Not The Dukes Darling is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.